Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

From Dutch anger to European anger?

Many articles claim that the 2023 Dutch general election results fit in a European trend, and will predict other forthcoming European general elections. I doubt that. If only, given the election results in Poland and Spain. In my view, the recent Dutch election results are not similar to Hungary.

Most of all, the Dutch election results are a reckoning with Mark Rutte’s four governments over the period 2010-2023. Volkskrant, 27 November: No Dutch coalition has ever had such a big relative loss in Dutch general elections as Rutte-4 (ie, -47,4%). Dutch translation by LO.

The Dutch anger relates to very specific issues, like:

  • The (big) economic importance of Dutch agriculture for international food markets and the green-left-liberal political attacks on Dutch farmers;
  • The closing of hospitals by Mark Rutte’s governments and the resulting inadequate number of hospital beds during emergencies (eg, Covid-19);
  • The inhumane treatment of elderly people during Covid-19;
  • The inadequate electricity infrastructure for connecting new companies and new residential houses due to the electricity demands of cars following EV subsidies;
  • The inadequate building of new residential houses due to “green” priorities;
  • The housing priorities for migrants & refugees and the (growing) waiting-lists of rental properties for Dutch nationals;
  • The political priorities on cities and the increasing neglect of villages (eg, cancellation of public transport, forceful housing of refugees).

Since Mark Rutte, short-term political interests have outweighed long-term national interests. Now, Dutch voters make a similar choice because Geert Wilders represents short-term (nationalist) politics. The long-term Dutch political interest was and is globalist (eg, the Dutch open economy).

Mark Rutte’s party is now struggling to make a choice between joining Geert Wilders or supporting him. Actually, Geert Wilders left Mark Rutte’s party in 2004 (source). A senior party member has predicted new elections if their party will not cooperate with Geert Wilders.

Most likely, Mark Rutte’s “liberal” party is playing games with political reality. New Dutch general elections would imply an even bigger loss for that party. Before Mark Rutte, that party used to be a (smaller) conservative-liberal party. It might become one again.

“The last few years, [Geert Wilders] has presented himself as an excellent representative. You don’t need to agree with him but he is capable. It’s also remarkable that Geert has kept his followers. In the meantime, he is facing a law suit for many years. It should have been closed a long time ago. One more remark: Wilders always wins. Obviously, when he wins that law suit, but also when he loses. Then his followers will say: We told you so.”

A 2021 Dutch quote from Hans Wiegel, former long-term leader of Mark Rutte’s party

Angry (2023) by the Rolling Stones
band, lyrics, video, Wikiband, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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